Coronavirus - 30 October


• UK’s R number down 0.1 and now stands between 1.1 and 1.3

• IAG does not expect demand to recover until 2023

• Eurozone economy rebounded 12.7% in Q3

• 13 of 17 Spanish regions have closed their borders

Company news


• Natwest – “Retail Banking customer activity levels in Q3 2020 improved significantly compared with Q2 2020 with debit and credit card spend levels 30% and 43% higher respectively and mortgage applications increased by 91%. In the nine months ended 30 September 2020, Retail Banking helped approximately 250,000 customers with an initial mortgage repayment holiday and as at Q3 2020 had 37,000 active mortgage repayment holidays, representing 3% of the book by volume. Additionally, Retail Banking had approximately 40,000, or 4%, of personal loan customers on active repayment holidays as at Q3 2020.

Commercial Banking continues to support customers through a comprehensive package of initiatives including participation in the UK Government’s financial support schemes. As at Q3 2020, £7.9 billion BBLS, £3.7 billion CBILS and £1.2 billion CLBILS had been approved. Since 22 March 2020 Commercial Banking provided payment holidays on over 72,000 customer accounts and as at Q3 2020 had active payment holidays on c.55,000 customer accounts, representing c.8% of the lending book by value.”


• Pizza Express – will cut 1,300 more jobs across its 370 UK restaurants only weeks after the firm said it would cut 1,100 jobs and close 73 restaurants.


• IAG – “The Group expects that it will take until at least 2023 for passenger demand to reach the levels of 2019. As a result the Group is actively involved in restructuring its cost base to adjust to significantly lower levels of demand, including actions to reduce fixed costs and to increase the variable proportion of the cost structure. British Airways has reached agreements with trade unions representing most of its employee groups. An exceptional cost of €275 million has been recognised in quarter 3, relating to employee restructuring in British Airways and Aer Lingus, corresponding to a reduction in employee numbers of approximately 10,000, of whom over 9,000 had left by September 30. The Group has retired legacy aircraft early and has stood down additional aircraft in advance of the end of lease contracts, with the two main fleet retirements being the Boeing 747 fleet of British Airways and the Airbus A340-600 fleet of Iberia.”


• The Eurozone economy rebounded 12.7% quarter-on-quarter in the third quarter after contracting 11.8% in the second Eurostat said. Analysts had expected a 9.4% quarterly rise.

• A report published by IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) of the UN has shown how future pandemics could be avoided and how much a new approach will save the world’s economy. The study has estimated that the current pandemic might cost the world economy $16 trillion by next summer but preventive measures – such as cracking down on the wildlife trade – would cost between $22bn and $31bn annually.

• An estimated 400,000 seafarers are stranded on their ships around the world. Many port authorities fear they will bring new Covid-19 infections ashore and in some countries crew changes are banned or difficult to carry out due to virus restrictions.

• Traffic hit record levels in Paris just hours before a new national lockdown came into force across France. Jams stretched to a cumulative 430 miles in the Ile-de-France region according to local media.

• Thirteen of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions have now stopped movement in and out of their areas. Valencia is the latest to close its borders for the next week.

• Moscow residents who want to be vaccinated against Covid-19 may be able to do so as early as next month if large volumes of doses of the not fully tested vaccine are supplied by then, city authorities said today.

• The EU will finance the transfer of patients across borders within the bloc to prevent hospitals from getting overwhelmed.

• Greece will impose regional lockdowns on its second-largest city of Thessaloniki and two other regions from today.

• The latest government figures put the UK’s R number at 1.1 to 1.3. Last week the R number was 1.2 to 1.4.

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